California shuts down nonveterinary teeth cleaning operation

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A California court approved a settlement Oct. 16 ordering a nonveterinary teeth cleaning operation to pay $150,000 in restitution for the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.

Veterinarian examining a dogs teethAn investigation led by the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs found that Canine Care Inc. was using scalers to perform anesthesia-free pet teeth cleaning statewide without veterinary supervision. It is illegal in the state to use any instrument, device, or scaler to clean a pet’s teeth without veterinary supervision.

The restitution will be paid to consumers, the California Veterinary Medical Board, and several county governments involved in the investigation and legal action. In addition, the company and its officers and employees are prohibited from practicing veterinary medicine unless they have the necessary licenses.

“The outcome in the Canine Care case should assist the board and veterinarians in educating the public about the importance of seeking dental care from trained and licensed professionals who understand what it takes to keep our animals healthy,” said Annemarie Del Mugnaio, executive officer of the veterinary board.

Related JAVMA content:

California regulators clarifying pet dentistry restrictions (June 15, 2012)